The 27-year-old artist Akiane Kramarik has been noticed not only for her incredible talent but also for the spiritually oriented methodology in her creation. Although her artwork today touches people all over the world, she is relatively unknown to the Swedish public. Get to know her art in Nya Dagbladet’s portrait.
In 1994, Akiane Kramarik was born into a very poor but loving family with a Lithuanian mother and an American father. The house they lived in, or the “hut” as she herself describes the home, was dilapidated and they used to wash dishes in the basement with the water from the floods. They had no kitchen and hardly any furniture. The area was anything but good and the people there didn’t like the family.
“One neighbor threatened to attack us if we didn’t go to his church, another tried to shoot our dog, a third was murdered,” Kramarik says in his biography on her website.
The family then moved around a lot and a lot of misfortunes befell the family, experiences that Kramarik herself believes taught her something about humility and also later helped her in her artistic creation.
“Poverty was the blank canvas on which I could create more freely. As I grew and matured, I never forgot the humble beginnings my family had to go through and never, ever took any day, gift or comfort for granted,” she says in an interview with The Epoch Times.
Although she never took any lessons, she had a clear aptitude for painting realistic portraits. Gradually, she found her own methodology based on a spiritually oriented inspiration.
The Prince of Peace
When Akiane was eight years old, she had already become an established artist. For a long time she had had dreams about Jesus that she wanted to express in her painting. The problem was that she didn’t really remember his face, but after the family brought a carpenter to the house one day, she thought his face was very similar to the one she had seen in her dreams – which inspired her to make the painting she calls The Prince of Peace.
The painting initially did not receive a good response from the public. Some went so far as to suggest that the painting should be burned. The painting was sent to her agent who was supposed to be responsible for exhibiting it, but the agent instead chose to steal it and kept it for a ransom. After much back and forth, she got the painting back from the agent, but it had then been carelessly returned. When the family opened the box with the painting, it was filled with sawdust, some of which had stuck to the painting itself. Akiane spent many hours trying to get everything out, but some became part of the painting forever.
Unfortunately, the troubles surrounding the painting did not end there, but it ended up in the hands of a new agent who accidentally sold it. Using legal means, the Kramarik family tried to get the painting back, but it didn’t work. The new owners had locked it up, and for several years the painting remained locked in a dark room. Akiane mourned that her portrait was gone, but 16 years later the painting suddenly became available for sale and was bought by a wealthy family for a whopping 850 000 dollars. It meant that Akiane finally got to see his painting again, the one that today has become one of the most widespread depictions of Jesus.
Akiane’s success as an artist quickly took off. By the time she was twelve, she had already painted 60 large paintings and she also began writing poetry at this time. She often paints allegorical and spiritually oriented paintings with varying motifs – including children, animals and nature.
“Respect and appreciation of our earthly life—which is simple, short, confusing, painful, remarkable, or even catastrophic—is essential to our spiritual well-being. Our experiences await us; we simply choose to live through the challenges and mistakes. If we do not live through difficulties, we cannot see the solved puzzle at the end. Our forgetfulness of our divine self and God’s presence and purpose with us is part of the mystery of life,” she notes.
“My calling to this day is to use my art and my writing to give hope back to people who are looking for it“, she explains.
Many of her paintings can be seen at akiane.com.